LAKE LOUISE, CANADA
Ski Holidays in Lake Louise
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise offers exceptional skiing possibilities over 128km of local pistes and 4,200 acres of the wider area providing endless dry powdery snow known as ‘champagne powder’. Part of the Ski Big 3, it also includes Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay, all part of the Banff-Lake Louise ski area and its resorts are connected by bus services.
- Off piste
|Directions of Slopes||N, S, E, W|
Skiing in Lake Louise
Lake Louise has more skiable terrain than any other single resort in Canada with over 4,200 acres of skiable trails with 8 high capacity interconnecting lifts and 3 mountain cafes. There is a Tri-Area lift pass available with Mt Norquay and Sunshine Village, with Banff situated in the centre. Accommodation in Lake Louise is located a 5 minute drive away from the main resort and a 45 minute drive away from the ski areas of Mt Norquay and Sunshine Village. The ski shuttles to the ski areas are free when you buy the Tri-Area lift pass.
Lake Louise resort has three areas with terrain catering for all skiing and snowboarding abilities. The resort is very well designed so that from the top of every lift you’ll have the reassurance that there will be both an easy and difficult run back down. This makes the resort perfect for mixed ability groups, with the ability for them to ski together and meet at the bottom.
You can ski down four different mountain faces and get as much powder, moguls and groomed slopes as you could want. Take on the steep runs above-the-treeline runs; cruise through wide-open bowls on the backside or dash along the tree-lined trails of Larch. The variety is spectacular. The facing mountains and local peaks are magnificent to look at.
In Lake Louise itself, there are two resort village hubs. The largest one is just off the Trans-Canada Icefields Parkway Highway which is about 2km away from the slopes. The other village is 3km away, where the renowned Lake Louise Fairmont Chateau is located, right by the lake.
For beginners, there are a substantial number of easy runs and a good ski school located at the base of the mountain. Beginners can take the chairlifts as soon as they have learnt the basics of turning, returning back to the resort by its gentle pistes. There is also a dedicated beginner’s and children’s ski area on sheltered forested slopes near the base of the resort.
For intermediates there is a wide variety of slopes with good progression to the more difficult runs. There are trails up to 8km in length providing beautiful long cruises.
For advanced there is an excellent choice of difficult runs combined with plenty of opportunities for more extreme runs. The Back Bowl skiing has gladed and bump runs and open powder. You can also hire a guide to explore the thrills of its backside bowls as well as the Mineshaft and Jackpot runs and the Ptarmigan Chutes.
Lake Louise is amazing for snowboarders too with an excellent snowboarding park and a good number of freestyle and alpine courses. The Juniper Jungle is the largest terrain park in North America which is situated just above the resort base. It is also one of the best North Amercian destinations for snowboarders thanks to its vast terrain and natural features. Its snowboard school is also known as one of Canada’s largest and best ranging from beginners to experienced boarders.
Snow conditions in Lake Louise
Lake Louise is one of the top 3 resorts in Canada with the best snow conditions and enjoys a long season from early November to early May with an average season duration of 164 days thanks to its excellent snow reliability. Its average snow depth during the season is 60 inches at its summit and 44 inches at the resort base.
During mid-winter, the temperatures drop very low so good quality ski gear is essential. Families especially should be aware of this, as although it caters excellently for families, those with small children are recommended to visit during the spring when it is warmer.
Après ski, restaurants and other activities in Lake Louise
One of the biggest attractions to Lake Louise is of course the stunning views across Banff National Park. Winter walks and guided sightseeing tours are the ideal ways to take in this breathtaking scenery.
Lake Louise village has a good selection of restaurants and bars but most are part of larger hotel complexes. Apres ski is clustered at the base of resort with Kokanee Kabin being a popular spot. There are also saloon and diner style bars in the resort village although the majority of Lake Louise’s apres bars are pretty low key and relaxed.
There aren’t a huge array of off slope activities in resort although it does have sleigh rides, ice skating, snowshoeing, snow tubing, tobogganing, ice fishing and bowling. Visitors can also combine their ski holiday with a city break to Banff as well as taking an excursion to Jasper along the scenic Icefields Parkway route.
Transfer times to Lake Louise
Calgary (YYC) - 2 hrs 20 mins
Lake Louise Reviews
My favorite mountain in Alberta. With two whole mountains to ski on you don't have to ski the same runs over and over. Even on a busy day if you look you can find trails with hardly anyone on them. Best glades run I have ever ridden on and it was a blast. Fantastic lodge with parking really close.
Apres Ski: 3/5
Accommodation & Value: 4/5